Rhode Island Bill to make Catholic Church sex abuse reports public was buried.
Rhode Island’s attorney general says lawmakers have buried a bill that would have made grand jury reports about sex abuse public in the Catholic Church even without indictments.
Attorney General Peter Neronha’s bill is garnering new attention after the Diocese of Providence released a list of 50 clergymen recently who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing minors. It failed to get a vote before the legislature recessed.
Current state law doesn’t permit a grand jury from issuing a report without an indictment.
Neronha says publishing grand jury reports without indictments could provide transparency around a historically concealed issue.
WPRI-TV reports that Neronha is conducting his own investigation into allegations of past sexual abuse.
A House spokesman says there is “no consensus” for Neronha’s bill.
The list of 50 names posted on the diocese website includes 19 priests and deacons who are still alive, although nearly all have been removed from ministry. One priest resigned. The list also includes 25 dead priests and six others, including religious order priests.
It posted where each of the men once worked. The diocese reviewed files dating to 1950.